Attendance, Behaviour and Support
It is our belief, as a key part of our agreed Christian Values in this school, that children at Upton St James CofE Primary School (USJ) should be enabled to ‘rise to their best’. This includes developing a strong self-discipline and learning to ‘love their neighbour as themselves’ (taken from Mark 12: 30-31). We believe that children learn best when there are high expectations about how they should behave and therefore are not affected by fear of being disrupted, hurt or treated badly by someone else.
Key Components of Effective Behaviour Management
We use five ‘R’s as a framework for developing a culture of positive relationships and behaviour within our school:
Building positive relationships is at the heart of our school ethos and we focus our attentions to providing nourishing relationships with all our pupils. Each pupil has at least one member of staff who knows them exceptionally well and we regularly ask our pupils to consider who their trusted adults are in school. Our approach to forming positive relationships with pupils is taken from Dan Hughes’ work on PACE. These principles help to promote the experience of safety and security in everyday interactions with pupils and support their own self-awareness and resilience. Key to this approach is a deep respect for the child’s own experiences and their inner life, which in turn helps children to reflect upon, understand and then manage their emotions more skillfully.
Playfulness – an open, ready, calm, relaxed and engaged attitude
Acceptance – unconditionally accepting a child makes them feel secure, safe and loved
Curiosity – showing genuine interest and a simple desire to understand the child
Empathy – a sense of compassion for the child and their feelings
We believe that it is through forming positive relationships that mutual trust and respect is built and fostered. Children and adults at USJ are encouraged to talk explicitly about their feelings and behaviour using the ‘Zones of Regulation’ (green = ready to learn, blue = tired/ ill, yellow = wobbly, over-excited, red = out of control, angry) and to use their Zones of Regulation toolkits and ’10 a day’ positive mental and physical health strategies to help them to ‘stay green’, calm and ‘ready to learn’ and to re-regulate quickly if needed.
We teach all our children about the articles contained within The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which was ratified by the UK in 1991. It is through learning to appreciate the value of having rights that children can be encouraged to respect them. It is important to note that all children have these rights at all times regardless of how they are behaving. Positive behaviours uphold the rights of others whilst negative behaviours deny others their rights. We also make clear links between the 54 articles, British Values and human rights.
At USJ we focus on these key rights as our core values:
- Right to learn (Article 28) and be heard (Article 12)
- Right to respect and fair treatment (Article 2)
- Right to safety (Article 19)
We teach our children that we all have a responsibility to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’ and uphold the rights of others. We use ‘Good to be green, great to be gold’ as a positive behaviour system to encourage children to make positive and responsible decisions with their behaviour and reward these positive choices accordingly (see appendix 1 and 2). Our behaviour system rewards both individual and collective positive behaviour in line with our Christian values.
Every child has a designated responsibility within the school to support our school community as a whole, which they are encouraged to carry out with pride. All members of our community are encouraged to take responsibility, demonstrate honesty and ‘put things right’ through a restorative approach when needed.
We aim for absolute clarity about what is expected throughout the school, framed in a positive set of language all pupils can understand and apply. We have clear respect, right to learn and safety rules for our school and within each class (directly linking to our ‘key’ rights).
Where children follow these rules, they are rewarded through our ‘Good to be green, great to be gold’ system. When rules are broken, there is a clear ‘stage’ process, which all staff adhere to (see Appendix 1 and 2)
Our three rules are 'Ready, respectful, safe' which permeate our school culture.
All staff working at USJ are expected to:
Model the same behaviours which are expected of the children in the way they interact with each other, as well as with the children and their parents and carers.
Rehearse those aspects of collective behaviour and conduct which promote shared responsibility and a learning-focused classroom environment.
Remind children pre-emptively of the behavioural expectations for a particular task or activity, such as group work, trips, working independently etc.
Reinforce the Relationships and Behaviour policy when it is necessary to do so, in and out of the classroom, remembering that we communicate what we value by what we walk past.
We have clear routines in place to promote orderliness, boundaries and structures across the school, and which are upheld by all staff at all times. These include entering and leaving a classroom quietly, moving from activity to activity in a calm and orderly fashion, stopping and listening when asked by an adult and settling to work with focus.
A Graduated Approach
Whilst each individual child benefits from a consistent approach to behaviour, we believe that this does not involve every child getting the ‘same’ but instead everyone getting what they need. Children often need personalised responses to support their personal development and well-being, which is consistent to our Christian values and beliefs.
USJ has its own reward and sanction system called ‘Good to be green, great to be gold’ (See appendix 1 and 2). We will always endeavour to focus on positive ‘expected’ behaviours and reward these as frequently as possible. This includes individual and collective daily, weekly and termly rewards. Where a child is not behaving well, they are given sufficient opportunity to ‘stop and think’ and to then make a positive behaviour choice.
At USJ, we strongly believe that although consequences for actions are often necessary, the real learning which actually changes behaviour comes from a restorative conversation with a trusted adult followed by reparation with any other parties involved. This aligns with our Christian message of ‘love your neighbour as yourself’, as children are taught to develop empathy and to understand the impact of their behaviour on others.
Staff will structure restorative conversations based around these main questions and use restorative prompt cards as a scaffold:
• What happened?
• What were you thinking at the time?
• How did this make people feel?
• Who else has been affected?
• What should we do to put things right?
• How can we do things differently in the future?
Rachel Ripley - Family Support Worker
Hi my name is Rachel Ripley, I work for South West Family Values and now also part of the team at Upton St James CofE Primary School as your Family Support Worker.
I’ve been working with families and children for many years, in both Torbay and Devon in a variety of different settings, including both voluntary and statutory.
I worked for several years within Children’s Services as part of the Early Intervention Team, and most recently as a Family Practitioner at a Trauma Informed school. I have extensive knowledge around multi-disciplinary working and will always seek out the most appropriate support available.
I have a lot of experience in co-ordinating the efforts of different agencies and professionals to ensure the right outcomes for your children and family.
I’ve always been told that I’m very approachable, a good listener and easy to talk to. My nature of being sensitive and supportive is vital whilst working with children, parents/ carers, who are often having to manage complex and emotional difficulties in their everyday life.
I’m a parent myself and so am fully aware that it can be the hardest job in the world!
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for support for yourself or your child.
I look forward to working together.
Steph Musselwhite - Welfare and Attendance Officer
My name is Steph and I am the Attendance and Welfare Officer at Upton St James CofE Primary school.
I monitor and track all attendance regularly, in particular when it gets below 95%. If I notice that attendance has continued to drop then you may hear from me. It’s nothing to worry about but instead it’s an opportunity to talk to me about whether there is anything the school can do to support you and or anything we should know about that might be affecting your child.
Good attendance from the youngest age ensures positive outcomes for children in their learning and friendships. Where possible we expect all children to attend school on time every day to maximise their learning.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about your own child’s attendance. The attendance policy for Upton St James CofE Primary school can be found on the school website – this goes into more detail about the schools expectations for holidays in term time, unauthorised absences and government guidelines.